SALEM, Ore. – The legislative Emergency Board approved more than $200 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for Oregonians and small businesses in need on Tuesday.
“Today, the Legislature took significant additional steps to assist vulnerable Oregonians whose lives have been turned upside down over the last few months,” House Speaker Tina Kotek said. “This funding will bring much-needed help to those who are facing the disparate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, including Black Oregonians, frontline workers, struggling small businesses, and laid off workers who’ve been waiting months for unemployment to come through."
Below is how the money will be divided up:
- $25.6 million in emergency assistance for small businesses facing financial shortfalls. This supports businesses with no more than 25 employees that have not received support under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or other provisions of the federal CARES Act.
- $50 million to support music, culture, and community venues and organizations that have been closed, canceled or postponed.
- $62 million to the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency to provide economic relief to Black individuals and businesses. National and state data show that the Black community is one of the communities experiencing a disproportionate share of negative economic and health effects due to COVID-19.
- $30 million to the COVID-19 Leave Fund for workers who contract or have been exposed to the virus but do not qualify for traditional sick leave.
- $35 million to fund $500 Emergency Relief Checks to Oregonians who are still waiting for unemployment benefits.
"But I know that these dollars won’t go nearly far enough," Kotek said. "Without additional support from the federal government, our state and her people stand on the brink of catastrophe. Congress must act to pass urgently needed relief funds so we can weather this storm together.”
The Emergency Board also allocated $3.58 million in general funds for emergency water infrastructure to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as the tribe faces an ongoing water crisis.